Gallus Glasgow Z: World War Z

There can’t be a corner of Glasgow which hasn’t featured in home-grown films and TV shows such as the long-running detective series, Taggart. But Hollywood has also come to call on several occasions. For example, there was great excitement in 2011 when the centre of Glasgow “played” Philadelphia in World War Z – especially as the star was none other than Brad Pitt. Here’s the City Chambers in George Square with the green signs and yellow traffic lights of a US city.

Glasgow as Philadelphia

In my own picture of the same building, you can just about make out the normal UK lights at the bottom left.

Glasgow City Chambers

Zombie attacks aren’t my thing, so I haven’t seen World War Z. However, shortly after Brad Pitt’s visit, Halle Berry was here filming the San Francisco sequences of Cloud Atlas. That I did go to – and very strange it was, thanks to CGI, to see streets which were totally recognisable on one side and completely imaginary on the other. Glasgow has also doubled as 1890s New York in House of Mirth (with Gillian Anderson) and, as far as I know, the most recent Hollywood A-lister to film here was Scarlett Johannson (Under The Skin).

We’re famous! Come and see us! I hope my roundup of Gallus Glasgow has tempted some of you.


  1. There was something Annabell watched on TV a few years ago and she was convinced that the shots were of the interior of the City Chamber – which she knew fairly well.


    • Quite possible – that rings a bell and I might eventually remember what it was. We get a lot of film crews these days – Outlander etc – and many of them park on the playing fields near our house, which is a nuisance because the trucks churn it all up and the mud runs off and blocks the drains. However I’m sure the council makes a lot of money from it.

      I expect Annabell gets a lot of misspellings. I do! Autocorrect has already given me Annabel and Annabelle.


        • Ah, mine is a family name which decreased with every generation. My aunt is and my great-aunt was Annabella, known as Annabel and Annie / Anna respectively. Mine is the bargain basement version!


  2. My wife – Annabell – worked in the Glasgow City Chambers before we were married. I worked in Port Dundas. We lived in Cardonald and one of the things that I find is that when people write about The Dear Green Place, they always ignore Crookston and Crookston Castle. It’s only rival in size and design, as far as I know, was Hermitage Castle. It has an interesting history and is worth at least a mention.. Writing about Glasgow is great and I loved this. Over the years Glasgow has had a bad press and we should do what we can, when we can to correct this.


  3. That’s so weird to think all those movies in “American” cities were actually filmed in Glasgow. I’m not a zombie fan, so I haven’t seen the movie.
    Thank you for a lovely tour of Glasgow. If I ever get back to Britain, I’ll be sure to include a stop there. 🙂


  4. I had a funny feeling that you were going to write about World War Z for your ‘Z’ post. 🙂 One of my friends went to Glasgow while they were filming and I’ve seen photos of it. It’s weird seeing Glasgow with American yellow cabs, hehe.

    I’ve not seen the film though. I keep on meaning to look it out, just so I can play ‘Spot Glasgow’. 😉


  5. WOOHOO! Congratulations on reaching the end of A-Z. I’ve loved learning so much about the history of your hometown, and the photography has been wonderful. 🙂 I can’t wait to see where else you take me with this blog!


  6. I am not into zombies either-sick of them actually. I am surprised the film crew go all the way to film in your city instead of their home turf. It must cost them less money to do that


    • I guess so, though we often lose out to Ireland which I believe gives better grants to film makers. Good to have completed another challenge alongside you – thanks for visiting and commenting so regularly.


  7. I had no idea that Glasgow has filled in for so many other cities. I didn’t see World War Z either but then I haven’t seen many movies lately. I have trouble sitting for that long.. I had heard that they were doing a lot of shooting in Malta so I was kind of interested in seeing that because it was shortly after we were there (for about 7 hours on a cruise stop). I’m not any of the zombie, vampire, witch, etc. I couldn’t even make it through the Harry Potter books. The House of Mirth is one of my favorite books of all time. Someone gave me the video years ago and I’ve never watched it. I’m afraid that I would be disappointed. Maybe I should dig it out and watch it.

    I really loved reading all about Glasgow and seeing you pictures! Great job with the A to Z.


    • The city centre is all on a grid system so it makes it quite similar to American cities – and I guess it must be cheaper to film here. Thanks for being such a faithful reader of both my challenges.


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